A couple months ago, I had the opportunity to drive an M3 very much like this test car on the Lightning course at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Driving on a racetrack is always a fun, but good God, the M3 was amazingly fantastic and super fun at NJMP. The V-8 engine is so rev-happy, so powerful, and it sounds incredible. The dual-clutch gearbox (although a pricey option at $2900) is a thing of beauty, and that comment comes from a guy who adores traditional manual transmissions. The steering is telepathic, and the chassis is near perfect.
The big problem with this short-term test car, however, is that I had to drive it on public roads, knowing the whole time what it was really capable of. Talk about frustrating temptation! The only times I really had a chance to open it up was during, uh, multiple passing maneuvers on back roads. Other drivers saw only a red blur. I prefer the sedan body style not only for its increased versatility but also for its ever-so-slight sleeper factor.
Oh, who am I kidding? There's nothing "sleeper" about the 2011 M3.
- Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor